Steve Chatterton
Humorist: Will Write for Food

The Stand Up Set that Wasn’t

June 24th, 2014 by Steve
Photograph by Greg Daneault

Photograph by Greg Daneault

A few weeks ago I signed up to do an open mic at a local comedy club. I had to cancel at the last minute due to conflicting family commitments. Anyway, here’s what I wrote for it.

- – -

I’m doing a lot of dog training lately. Our Husky has some “behavioural issues.” It would seem he’s chosen the path of leash resistance.

Ever notice there’s a fine line between training a dog and just being a crazy person with a four-footed companion? And no one can tell the difference by looking.

You’re there with the dog saying things like: “Sit, Rover. I really need you to sit. Sit! Sit for me. Sit for me and get the treat. You want treat? Then sit. Sit Rover! SIT! That’s a good boy. Way to go, Rover! I’m so proud of you, boy!! I DIDN’T SAY YOU COULD GET UP!!!”

I don’t care how intelligent you are, the moment you try reasoning with a dog you look like a bipolar redneck on vacation in Paris with Tourette’s Syndrome: “I – need – you – to – listen – to – my – words, dammit! Good doggy!!!”

Meanwhile, the dog’s thinking: “You know, canine communication is so simple. We bark, we growl, we wag our tails. If you won’t do any of that for me, where’s my motivation to learn your language?”

A Dog-in-training get the short end of the stick in this world. We make him to bend to our will, play by our rules, and wear those stupid bandannas. Meanwhile he sees the neighbour’s dog bouncing around like a maniac, barking its head off, sniffing people inappropriately, and he got to wonder: “Why is my human such a hard-ass? That dog’s living the dream!”

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Zippy One-Liners

June 1st, 2014 by Steve
Photograph by Greg Daneault

Photograph by Greg Daneault

An old girlfriend once asked if I’d take a bullet for her. I said, “To be honest, it’s all I can do to take the bus for you.”

If a tree falls on a florist, would any disappear?

While out for a walk I meet a fisherman. “How’s it going?” I ask. He says, “It sucks! Not a bite all day!” So I sick my dogs on him.

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Religion: Undeclared

May 21st, 2014 by Steve
Photo by Gareth Weeks

Photo by Gareth Weeks

When I first attempted university (it didn’t take, no matter how many times I tried), I left my major undeclared as long as possible. I guess I was afraid of commitment, of being locked down, and possibly getting stuck in a boring career (like there are other kinds of careers).

Finally, on the last possible day, my faculty adviser pulled me aside and gave me the ‘now or never’ speech (now also known as the ‘s*** or get off the pot’ speech), and I resigned myself to my fate.

“Okay,” I said, “how about something that leaves a lot of doors open for me when I graduate, something like… philosophy.”

He replied with bemused silence, soon drowned out by chirping crickets. Talk about a hard room.
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How I Became a Stay-at-home Dad

May 14th, 2014 by Steve

A lot of men ask me, “Can I be a stay-at-home dad just like you?”

The first thing I do is start answering their questions with a bunch of other questions, knowing full well how much it ticks people off.

“Are you sober right now?” I ask. If they reply yes, I ask my follow-up, “Have you been dropped on the head recently?”

You see, I need to know they are not making a rash decision, that they have thought this through, and that they are of sound mind, for being a stay-at-home parent is not to be entered into lightly. Gingerly, perhaps, but definitely not lightly.

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No, You Turn!

May 6th, 2014 by Steve
Photo by Colin Broug

Photo by Colin Broug

When I was learning to drive in high school, my driving instructor asked me a riddle as we pulled up to an all-way stop: “Four drivers arrive at a four-way stop at the same time. Which one goes first?”

I suggested “age before beauty” as a possibility, but it didn’t get the laugh I hoped for. Sorting it out by order of height, whether tallest to shortest or vice versa, would be difficult with everyone in a seated position, and deciding it by a quick game of rock-paper-scissors would be problematic with four players who couldn’t hear each other well.

“The answer is,” said the clearly exasperated instructor, “the one on the right.”

“But every car is the one on the right in that scenario,” I protested.

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” he replied, giving me the distinct feeling weren’t going anywhere, as if we were actually going around in circles. To make matters worse, he refused to clarify further.

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